31 January 2012

More Palaiologues

The Palaiologos cross between four firesteels (πυρέκβολα) each resembling a B
which are also said to have originally been Bs that were later turned into firesteels.

These have been interpreted as the initials of the imperial motto:
Βασιλεὺς Βασιλέων Βασιλεύων Βασιλευόντων  or Βασιλεὺς Βασιλέων Βασιλεύων Βασιλεῦσι ),
"King of Kings, Ruling over Rulers."*   

My colleague Ersie Burke and I both work on stratioti but we share them out.  I get the Morea stratioti, and she gets the stratioti who ended up in Venice, but we overlap on the occasional family relationships and then we work together with scans, Skype and Dropbox.  Just after Christmas we were reading together a petition Ersie found from a Demetrio-2 Paleologo**  recorded in Venetian records with a date of 27 January 1584.  (I have given the names in this petition numbers to help keep them straight -- this family was most loyal to the Greek naming tradition.)

Demetrio-2 Paleologo, the petitioner, had held land on Cyprus, inherited from his father Zuanne-2, worth 5,000 scudi, and commanded 60 stratioti for Venice.  During the Ottoman assault on Cyprus that began in 1570, he lost his land, saw his father and brother killed, his house destroyed, and the women of the household raped.  He himself was chained at the oars on Turkish galleys for six years.  At the time of writing, he was asking to be assigned to Kefalonia or Crete as captain of stratioti, with a position appropriate to a member of his family which had lost so much in the service of Venice.

Before he tells of the Cypriot disaster, he recounts this family service going back over four generations and more than a hundred years.

*Andronico-1 Paleologo, because of his command and valor at the Hexamilion and Corinth in 1463, was given Kastri (Hermione) in the Argolid in 1469.  He fortified it himself and brought settlers there.

* Zuanne-1 Paleologo  (remember this one) did no less.  He had been given Stalimene (Lemnos) by his cousin, the Despot of the Morea, and was confirmed in possession by the Venetian captain-general, Alvise Loredan in the Venetian-Ottoman War (1464-1478).  After that, he fought in Valachia for his brother-in-law, the Voivode Stefano, to drive out the Ottomans.  In 1482 he led Greek troops in the Ferrara War, and just after that fought at Padua.

* Demetrio-1 Paleologo , Zuanne's son and grandfather of Demetrio 2, our petitioner, was with the Venetians at the attacks at Metilene (Lesbos) in 1501, Santa Maura, and Kefalonia.

* Andronico-2 Palaeologo, Demetrio-1's son, had been instrumental at the Ottoman siege of Nauplion in 1500 in getting food into the city which was on the verge of surrender from starvation.  He and two of his cousins were killed in an ambush near Argos.

* Zuanne-2 Palaeologo, also a son of Demetrio-1 and father of our petitioner, was mentioned in the second paragraph He had better fortune than his brother, and fought so well for Venice that he was knighted and given the fief on Cyprus.  He was killed in the Ottoman takeover.

There are a great many Palaiologos names scattered through the Venetian records, and sometimes they say they are "da Costantinople" and sometimes "da Napoli di Romania" but mostly there is no identification.  So go back to Zuanne-1.

Zuanne-1 held Lemnos from his cousin, the Despot of the Morea. Lemnos was an island given as appanage to members of the imperial family.  Manuel II had Lemnos at one time.  Demetrios Palaiologos had Lemnos for many years, until he was created Despot of Mistra.*** But despots do not grant islands, but emperors do, and the only Despot of the Morea to become emperor was Constantine.  So it looks like Constantine gave his cousin Zuanne-Ioannis-John, Lemnos when he became emperor, in 1449 or so.

Now, when Cyriaco of Ancona was in the Morea in 1447, he visited with a John Palaiologos who was Constantine's governor of Mani.  ( Cyriaco wrote the name Iωannum Palaeologum with an omega.)****  John took Cyriaco to look at an inscription on ancient walls in a field near Oitylo where there were also cisterns and sarcophagi. This John is not found in the PLP, which is the sacred book of Byzantine names from 1261 on, but there are a great many names not found in it, and it is a starting-point, not a definitive conclusion.  I am quite sure that this John Palaiologos of Mani is Zuanne-1 Palaiologos whose cousin gave him Lemnos. 

Constantine's cousin.  Now Constantine's uncle, Theodoros I who died in 1407, is known to have had children, though not by his wife.  The only reasonably-identified, and nameless, child was a daughter, known later as Fatma chatún, who was married to Sulayman, son of sultan Murad. Sulayman, briefly sultan of Edirne , was overthrown in 1411. She disappeared.

There appear to have been at least two sons.  I am suggesting that this John-Zuanne-1-Iωannum
Palaiologos was one of the sons of Theodoros I Palaiologos, and that is why he had status adequate to receive the island of Lemnos.  John was the name of Theodoros' father.

The petitioner says that Zuanne's brother-in-law Stefano was ruler of Valachia. A Stephen III ruled Moldavia from 1457-1504, and in 1471, he invaded Ottoman-ruled Vallachia in and was able to push them back. John-Zuanne-1 apparently participated in this effort, and it is somewhat confirmation of his status that he married a daughter and sister of rulers.  She apparently did not have a name either.

Because of the way names entwine in this family, I am also suggesting that Andronico-1 was another a son of Theodoros. Andronikos was the name of Theodoros' grandfather. I have no evidence beyond a sense of tidyness and you now have all the evidence I have.

I also have a Michali Paleologo who was governor of Vassilicata (Sicyon) in 1430.  Someone was selling silver jewelry for him in Venice.  I don't know what to do with him.  I don't know how many sons we can give Theodoros credit for but he was a governor in the territory Constantine controlled at that date.

This is as far as I can go with these names, other than to recall that Constantine is the only Palaiologos we know of whom there is recorded  some concern for family.

*  This comes from Wikipedia.  I like the description but I cannot vouch for the accuracy.  I would be grateful for more information and sources.
**  Sathas 5: 217-219 can be  downloaded here.
*** Mehmed gave the income of Lemnos back to Demetrios for a while.
**** Cyriaco, Diary V: 23.

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